UNIVERSITY UTARA MALAYSIADr Azly Rahman and Dr Mutiara Mohamad provided additional insights into the road they have taken and the challenges they have faced in their article in Malaysiakini.com here. In the same letter they have also highlighted clearly the issues concerning the "Akujanji" pledge of loyalty and why they have decided against signing the letter without modifications.
I, ................... bearing I/C no ................... residing in ................... solemnly declare that I will abide Statutory Bodies (Discipline and Surcharge) 2000 [Act 605] and all instructions issued and enforced by University Utara Malaysia, from time to time throughout my services with University Utara Malaysia. Thus, I solemnly declare, as required under Rule 3, Disciplinary Rules of the Statutory Bodies, that is within the Second Schedule of the Statutory Bodies Act (Discipline and Surcharge) 2000 [Act 605], that I, among others:
(i) will always be loyal to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, country, government and University Utara Malaysia;
(ii) will always undertake my duties with caution, diligence, honesty, trust and responsibility;
(iii) will not neglect my responsibilities towards Universiti Utara Malaysia for my personal gain;
(iv) will not act in a manner that will cause my personal affairs to be in conflict with my responsibilities towards University Utara Malaysia;
(v) will not act in a manner that would cause reasonable doubt that I had allowed my personal affairs to be in conflict with my responsibilities towards University Utara Malaysia to the point where it affect my position as an officer within University Utara Malaysia.
(vi) will not use my position as a officer within University Utara Malaysia for my personal gain
(vii) will not act in a manner which would bring disrepute to University Utara Malaysia.
(viii) will not bring any form of outside influence or pressure to support or further my demands or other officers involved with or towards University Utara Malaysia; and
(xi) will not disobey or behave in any way that can be interpreted as disobedience.
I wholly understand that if I were charged with breaching this Aku Janji, disciplinary action under the Statutory Bodies (Discipline and Surcharge) 2000 [Act 605] can be taken against me.
The practicality and objectivity of enforcing the "Akujanji" plegde is also called into question. For example:
What bodies of knowledge can be presented to students and what cannot? Who decides what can be presented and what cannot and how is this monitored? What is the nature of objectivity that can be presented to the students or the public that can be interpreted as a violation of the contents of the Akujanji?As he bitterly pointed out the conclusion emphathised by this writer as well as many others in our writings:
The higher education minister needs to explain why he did not bother to attend to our letter of appeal. We do not think he is interested at all in attending to this simple yet important matter. He is an incapable minister, from our analysis thus far. He should not be taking charge of our public universities.Let's hope the wiser heads in our political administration will see the light. Fingers crossed.
Our allegiance as academicians is to the pursuit of truth and justice and to freedom of inquiry; not to any political ideology. We believe that is what we are trained to do well. It shall remain this way and we want to see young lecturers embrace this spirit so that this spirit will permeate into the consciousness of our children and transform them into critical, creative, and altruistic thinkers.